The most interesting museums in Warsaw (list)

Warsaw as the capital city is proud of multiplicity of cultural projects. Warsaw houses plenty of cultural institutions, among them museums. Visitors can find museums related to the history of the city as well as the whole nation, and also places centred around artistic endeavours – theatre, music and other. It’s difficult to choose the most interesting museums in Warsaw because each one deserves attention. Let’s try to discuss the most important ones to be visited in the first place.

The most interesting museums in Warsaw (list)

The National Museum in Warsaw

It’s a state institution originally established in 1862 as the Museum of Fine Arts in Warsaw. It’s one of the largest museums in Poland and definitely in the capital.

Over the time the museum grew in prominence and its name was changed in 1916. Soon afterwards the authorities decided to erect a new building for the National Museum. It was planned before but during II World War the plans were abandoned. The building was completed in 1938, but even before its parts were gradually opened for visitors and substantial amount of collections were gathered there. Unfortunately, during the II World War, despite the effort of its workers, parts of exhibitions were destroyed or stolen by the German occupant. Fortunately, the exported collections were carefully documented and it was possible to recover them after the war.

Over the following years the collections constantly grew and it became necessary to extend the building (during 1964-1972.) During 1995-1996 the structure and organisation of the museum’s departments were changed and confirmed in March in 1996. The museum has been functioning without any changes ever since. There are seventeen permanent galleries, among others: Gallery of Ancient Art, Gallery of Old Masters of Polish and European Painters, Department of Coins and Medals or Library.

The Warsaw Museum

The Warsaw Museum (former Historical Museum of Warsaw) presents exhibitions related to the history of the capital from its founding times. Originally, since 1936 it functioned as a branch of the National Museum discussed above.

The museum is housed in three tenement houses on Old Town Market: on Baryczkowska, Kleinpoldowska and Pod Murzynkiem streets. The tenement houses together with the substantial part of the exhibitions were destroyed during the Warsaw Rising. After war the buildings were renovated and the museum is currently housed in eleven tenement houses and three squares.

During 2010-2012 basements below the eight buildings from Dekert street were renovated and restored for visitors. In 2014 the place was renamed as the Warsaw Musuem. The museum is famous for its collections: archaeological, painting, sculpture, graphics, iconography, decorative arts, numismatics and architectural drawings.

The Warsaw Raising Museum

It’s a relatively new cultural institution created in 1983 as the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Archive. The museum was opened on 31 July 2004, exactly a day before the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Rising.

The museum collects and presents not only the history of the Rising, but is also engaged in scientific research studies and education related to the Rising and to the Polish Underground State.

The Museum of History of Polish Jews POLIN

The museum has gained attention due to the recent bill concerning The Institute of National Remembrance, which has been widely discussed in Poland and Israel.

The building was erected during 2009-2013 in Śródmieście district. The museum was opened to visitors in 2013, yet the collections were gathered before thanks to the engagement of  the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland. The museum is financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, local authorities and non-governmental institute.

The museum presents history of the Jews in Poland, but doesn’t only focus on the tragedy of Holocaust. It presents the Jewish contribution to development of Polish culture, science and economy. The museum runs typically museum activities but also functions as the cultural and education centre.

The Museum of Modern Art

It’s a national cultural institution established not so long ago in 2005. Currently the museum is operating in temporary quarters on Pańska 3 street. Its dedicated building is being created on Defilad square. Estimated time for opening to visitors is spring 2020.

The mission of the museum is to present achievements and transformations of the Polish art during XX and XXI century within the international context. Currently, the museum is focused on gathering the collections which will be moved and displayed in its new building. The museum is also engaged in education and research activities, takes part in and holds cultural events, publishes articles and books and generally attempts to connect tradition and modernity.

Other interesting museums in Warsaw

The above described museums are the most interesting institutions not only in Warsaw, but in the whole country. However, in the capital there is also a lot of smaller institutions, which can enchant theatre lovers (the Theatre Museum), technology enthusiasts (the Museum of Printing, The Automotive and Technology Museum,  the Water and Sewage Museum), specific area of art lovers (the Museum of Poster at Wilanów, the Dollhouse Museum), nature, army or sport. Offer of museums in Warsaw Is quite rich and everyone can surely find something for themselves.